This is a great risk. Some will think that I am being very presumptuous, perhaps even arrogant. I do not intend it to be like that. I do this because of an inspirtation of Morris West and his novel, The Clowns of God. Jean Marie wrote letters to you, God. And so I thought about doing the same. I must admit that years ago some of my students used to do the same. The readers of this letter will not exactly understand everything until those readers really read West's novel, but maybe they will do that.
There was a time when I was called Johnny. It was when I was quite young. Now many do call me Padre Juanito or Pradrecito. But this last time that I read C of G, I have come to like the name Jeannot alot.
What I want to say to you is something that some of MM's former students do not totally understand. We call those former students -- alums. Many of them want to see their alma mater stay just the same as it was when they were students here. Those alums even want their sons to have the very same teachers that they had when they were here. They want their sons to have at least, similar experiences as they did.
But, you God, know all. And one thing you know very well is that no human can go on forever. There is a limit of time. And you God have created every individual differently and so another teacher perhaps cannot teach exactly the way the one before did. So dear, God, you taught Jean Marie a good lesson at the end of C of G. In the character of Mr. Atha, after Jean Marie has accepted him (Mr. Atha) as the Anointed One, Jean Marie begs Mr. Atha to teach others as he (Jean Marie) has been taught by Mr. Atha. But these are Mr. Atha's words: "No!... tomorrow I shall be gone about my Father's other business. You must teach them."
So dear, God, help me to make the alums understand that in many ways it is their task to pass on and in many ways they must TEACH them!!
And one more point that I would like to make is this. I tried to re-read this novel, God, during Advent to prepare for your coming among us at Christmas. I must admit that it was great preparation. But what was even greater was a request that I received from a man who helps me with the Farmers Market, especially at the time of the Fall Festival. His hame is Paul Wenninghoff. Many years he comes through with pumpkins which I do not grow. I try to return payment, sometimes monetarily as well as with prayers. This year Paul asked if I could celebrate the Eucharist at a special school for the intention of his child who is in heaven with you and for his family. The school is called: Madonna School. The children at this school are much like the little buffons that are in the C of G. So on Friday, December 21, I celebrated the Eucharist at this school for all there. Wow! It was awesome. There was a student by the name of Louis. (The name Louis is very much in my family.) He was relestless until I started my homily. I did alittle singing and he became very calm. In fact, there was total silence among them all when I sang for them. Those children are so very innocent. And then there was one student who is autistic. He did an unusal thing that day. He walked up for a blessing. It was a very neat experience for me. It was so humbling. Dear God, I felt your presence ever so much there. Thank you, God for TEACHING us with these innocent creatures you have given us.
So this is about all I want to say to you right now, God. I know that I will come back again, but for right now this is enough.
Thank you for everything,
Johnny, Juanito, Jeannot